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How To Hijack an EU Open Source Strategy Paper 112

Glyn Moody writes "Thanks to the indispensable Wikileaks, we have the opportunity to see how an organization close to Microsoft is attempting to re-write — and hijack — an important European Union open source strategy paper, currently being drawn up. Analyzing before and after versions visible in the document demonstrates how the Association for Competitive Technology, a lobbying group partially funded by Microsoft, is trying to widen the scope of open source to include 'mixed solutions blending open and proprietary code.'" And reader Elektroschock adds some detail on EU processes: "The European Commission lets ACT and CompTIA participate in all working groups of the European Open Source Strategy, which defines Europe's future open source approach. A blue editor questions the objectives: 'Regarding the "Europe Digital Independence" our [working] group thinks it is, in general, not an issue.' 'European digital independence' is a phrase coined by EU Commissioner V. Reding, that is what her European Software Strategy was supposed to be about. She didn't reveal that lobbyists or vendors with vested interests would write the strategy for the Commission."
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How To Hijack an EU Open Source Strategy Paper

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  • by rahvin112 ( 446269 ) on Friday February 27, 2009 @01:38PM (#27014031)

    If you protect your markets you destroy your exports. Exports are what drive our economy. Just like the Smoot-Holey Act in the 30's did your support of protectionism, if successful, will do far more damage to the economy than the banks have.

  • by viralMeme ( 1461143 ) on Friday February 27, 2009 @01:39PM (#27014055)
    'Microsoft leaned on [] EC to spike open source report'

    'One might ask, "Who are these lobbyists? []", so let's take a closer look'
  • by x_MeRLiN_x ( 935994 ) on Friday February 27, 2009 @02:22PM (#27014591) Homepage

    Microsoft is one of 59 members of the Association for Competitive Technology
    [1] []. The only victim here is the readership of Slashdot. There is a concerted campaign here to slate Microsoft regardless of any basis in reality.

    Wikileaks claims the president of the ACT has strong ties to Microsoft, but only provides the ironically named, unsourced open-access Wiki, SourceWatch[2] [], as evidence for this latest smear campaign.

    This is not the work of Microsoft. This lobbying was perpetrated by the software industry in general. People round here fail to see, for reasons unbeknown to me, that Microsoft is not exceptionally evil as corporations go.

  • by Elektroschock ( 659467 ) on Friday February 27, 2009 @02:26PM (#27014657)

    Ireland offers massive tax cuts, so MIOL licenses the EMEA software sales from Ireland. Other companies do the same. The Irish economic wonder is nothing but tax dumping for multinationals from the United States, at the expense of the US tax income of course and for the benefit of Ireland.

  • by Elektroschock ( 659467 ) on Friday February 27, 2009 @02:28PM (#27014705)

    Interesting. How does open source and interoperability spending qualify as protectionism. It is more anti-dependency, deprotectionism.

  • by Tanktalus ( 794810 ) on Friday February 27, 2009 @03:17PM (#27015411) Journal

    The fact you have choices for which OS to install on your computer proves Microsoft is, in fact, *not* a monopoly. PsyStar vs. Apple is actually a great example for WHY Microsoft is not a monopoly. If you buy a PC from PsyStar you can choose OS X or Windows. The lawsuit shines light on the scenario greedy scumbags have thrust upon the consumers against their will, a scenario that obfuscates real issues with half-truths or complete fallacies about software licenses, end user agreements, and monopolistic practices. Because you have the freedom to choose Dell, HP, Apple, PsyStar or any other PC vendor, means you have the freedom to buy a PC with an OS other than from Microsoft.

    I do not think that word means what you think it means.

    For starters, you must be a techie. For you to think that a monopoly is an absolute measurement shows that you think this way.

    A monopoly is not a company that is exclusive in an industry. It's a company that has such an effective control over its industry that most people pretty much equate the company with the industry. And, as most people here point out, that's not illegal. When you use the control in one industry (OS) to project into another industry (Office), THAT is illegal. That you have competitors in the first industry is only significant if those competitors have significant mindshare and people treat the competitor as similar enough to weigh their options.

    Apple's mindshare is rising enough to start to threaten the monopoly status of Microsoft. That doesn't mean that PsyStar has any bearing on it. Their mindshare is close enough to zero to make Linux on the Desktop look like a reality.

    Remember: a healthy industry has two major competitors slugging each other out at about 40% marketshare each, a third competitor between 15 and 20% marketshare, largely ignored by the first two, and then a myriad of minor competitors making up the rest of the market, filling niche needs in that market. A dominated, but not monopolistic, industry has its number one company at about 60% marketshare, a number two at 30-40%, a number three company trying to get double digit percentages, and possibly a few others eeking out their living in niche markets. The desktop operating system market is not anywhere near these. Microsoft is sitting over 80%, Mac is somewhere around 5-10%, and others are filling niche roles. The server operating system market is not, from what I can tell, hugely different, though Mac and Linux might have their numbers reversed.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 27, 2009 @04:12PM (#27016233)

    The American legal definition of monopoly is based on the presence of either of the following:

    1. The ability to exclude competition
    2. the ability to fix prices

    Either of both makes a monopoly. The test is a functional one, not one base on having X% of the market.

    Microsoft has been determined to have a monopoly by a US Court, and to have abused it.

  • by Elektroschock ( 659467 ) on Friday February 27, 2009 @06:53PM (#27018175)

    Microsoft is a protectionist company that combats freedom of governments to promote open source, interoperability and a free market, it does so simply because its business strategy is protectionism and lockin.

  • Microsoft is one of 59 members of the Association for Competitive Technology.
    The only victim here is the readership of Slashdot. There is a concerted campaign here to slate Microsoft regardless of any basis in reality.
    [1] [] []

    That's disingenuous at best.

    Microsoft may be one of 59, but most of the rest are Microsoft partners.

    To pick only the headlined companies:

    These smaller, entrepreneurial technology firms like Sax Software, ComponentSource and EnsuredMail have long been the driving force behind innovation and job growth in the industry.

    • Sax Software; Microsoft VB and ActiveX tools.
    • ComponentSource; Microsoft WinForms, ASP.NET, WPF and Silverlight tools & controls.
    • EnsuredMail; Microsoft Outlook mail filter.

    See any pattern there?

  • by stox ( 131684 ) on Saturday February 28, 2009 @12:17AM (#27020369) Homepage

    Domestically good producers have to pay their half of the worker's FICA taxes. Imported goods do not.

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